Reason for optimism with Tim Lincecum?

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The Giants continue to exhibit patience with Tim Lincecum, despite his season-long struggles. While he still owns a 6.07 ERA and remains winless since April 28, he at least showed some signs of turning things around last night against the Athletics.

Lincecum was on the ropes in the first inning, giving up three runs on three singles and two walks before recording an out. Things could have been much worse, but he struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington (all swinging strikeouts) with the bases loaded to escape.

It didn’t look like Lincecum would last very long after throwing 44 pitches in the first inning, but he was efficient and effective the rest of the way, holding the A’s hitless over his final five innings of work while issuing two walks. He ended up allowing three runs over six innings for just his second “quality start” of the season and his first since May 30. The eight strikeouts tied a season-high. Despite being in a early three-run hole, the Giants came back to win the game 5-4.

CSNBayArea.com has the video of Lincecum’s post-game comments, where he expressed optimism about his ability to build off of his strong performance following the first inning jam.

Video: Troy Tulowitzki plays along with a photographer who thought he was a pitcher

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Thursday marked photo day for the Blue Jays. There are always some oddities, usually when the players create fun for themselves. This time, the fun happened when a photographer mistook shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for a pitcher. Tulowitzki rolled with it and followed the photographer’s instructions to pose like a pitcher.

Hazel Mae has the hilarious video:

Hitters, of course, typically pose with a bat over their shoulder. Pitchers typically have their hand in their glove, sometimes leaning forward as if receiving the signs from their catcher.

Tulowitzki has exclusively played shortstop during his 12-year career in the majors, but perhaps one day he’ll step on the mound and be able to call himself a pitcher.